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08/16/2011 01:16 PM

Bipolar and Stealing

Posts: 1

Hopefully some one can help me understand more about bipolar disorder and help my wife cope. A little background history. We have a 18 year old daughter that was diagnosed with bipolar after several years of trouble. Started when she was around 11-12 years of age. She has seen several psychiatrist and psychologists over the years with dx of ADD to just being a rebellious child. Problems with drug abuse and alcohol abuse. She is not compliant with the meds because she says the make her so sleepy she can not function during the day.

Im a registered nurse for 12 years and have treated patients with bipolar when they come in with severe depression and/or mania episodes and a few suicide attempts. I understand what bipolar is and some current treatments and meds used, but actually dealing with a family member you love and care for is very very tough for me and my wife to cope.

Im not perfect by no means, and not even claiming to be. My wonderful wife is so supportive and cares and treats our daughter great in my opinion. She is supportive when needed and stern when needed.

My wife and I number 1 problem is the stealing. My wife really thinks the stealing is something she does out of mania or depression. I just cant come to grips with that. I believe stealing is a conscious act and has nothing to do with BP.

I can accept the fact and understand when she was younger and stole for drug money but now i dont believe she is taking illegal drug but she continues to steal. My wife is worried about her starting work because she may steal and go to jail.


08/16/2011 01:40 PM
CatbalooPosts: 6921
Group Leader

I'm sorry to hear about your problems with your daughter. I don't know if the stealing has anything to do with her bipolar disorder or not, but I do know that she needs to be on meds. If hers make her too sleepy then she needs to find ones that don't. I take abilify, for example, and I have no issues with sedation.

A pdoc can prescribe different medications and help her with her stealing problem as well. Your wife is right: if she steals at work, she will go to jail. Therapy can help alter her behavior and help her understand what motivates her to steal.

Best wishes to you and your family.

08/16/2011 01:40 PM
Posts: 5961
Group Leader

I think that if you are not prone to theft when stable you probably won't steal when depressed or manic unless you need money for drugs. I have never read in any book that stealing was a symptom of either pole. My guess is that you are right that it is a conscious act, or that she is still secretly on drugs and stealing out of desperation. I have a cousin who stole things when she was a little kid. When she grew up she developed a heroin addiction and stole jewelry from her own step mother. She's been in jail twice for it. I often wonder if it was her PTSD that caused her drug habit, but when she was a little kid I don't think she had PTSD yet.

08/16/2011 03:26 PM

Just a thought but I have some impulse control problems especially when I am hypomanic. It could be that...I am working with both my pdoc and therapist to help with the impulse control problems. Best of luck

03/07/2013 09:09 PM
Posts: 1
New Member

Hi BP Parent I have a daughter who is 24 she hasn't Been Dx with bipolar disorder but she has 95% of the symptoms and they started when she was about 14. Thing have only gotten worse at first we thought ok she is just a depressed personality, but then as she got older she started with lying about stupid things and then staying out later and not answering her phone acting very reckless. And then she started stealing, lying, drugs, alcohol, when it comes to getting help she procrastinates and it's very frustrating to me because she's an adult so I can even make appointments for her. She has taken and pond very expensive thing of mine and then feels so guilty when I notice these thing gone that she confesses and says she doesn't understand why she does these things. She says she get impulses that she can't control. We have given our children a very good privileged life. I feel so helpless with getting her the help that she needs. I can't rap my head around it.

02/05/2014 11:11 PM
Posts: 1
New Member

My name is lera and I been living with bi-polar for tewntyone years and everyday is a different side effect. I know that one thing people living with bi-polar is staling because I have 30.000 dollars and still will stal as though it has a mind of its own. I've tried my best to beat this thing but its like it have a mind of his own. Sometime I fight with myself not to do it but it happens, also never know when I;m going into an Outer Body Experience unitl its over when I come back into my body. through the years I have learned to know when I am having a system and I try best to cope. You can have high mania where you believe you'll invensible and then there is low mania when you have no control of what is going on you cannot stop it just try my beast to deal with it. I am so sorry for your family but the only advice is to the doctors really find a medication that will help but their is no medication to stop these symptoms but it could be level off. Your daughter muat be being over medicated because it appears to me you are used as ginney pig until a medication works without the horrible side effects. The street drug only nums the illness and cause one life to sprrow out of contro. My only advice is to find a good suppot group, and that will be Nami, Mental Association for the mental ill.

04/27/2014 09:04 PM
Posts: 29

I actually ran into this forum looking for answer of the same type. I am bipolar have general anxiety disorder but I've never talked in depth with a psychiatrist about things in specific. When "normal", I tend to be a very serious, law and order kind of guy but when I got through hypomanic episodes my world turns upside down and I become a totally different person. It's like all my inhibitions are gone and I just act and don't think. I tend to do some really stupid stuff that later I regret. One of the big ones is a sort of kleptomania. It is never associated with things I need, rarely it has to do with getting back at the world but it's usually just I can't help it. The urge is to big. I have gone to the point of stealing pencils just because I know I'm not supposed to. Among many other impulsive behaviors. I wanted to know if this was just me or if this was a completely different thing all together. It's something I've done since I was about 5. I remember taking coins from my mom's purse to buy gum and I wouldn't tell her unless she found out. I guess in a way I just want to know that I'm not some sort of freak. That at least there's part of me that is "normal". I've gone through life with so many labels and none have helped. That now I'm scared to add more. First because they give you an excuse to do the things you do and second because I'm tired of them. They might help you define what's wrong with you but at least in my case that hasn't helped at all in regards to medication or help. I hope your daughter gets better.

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